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Undergraduate math conference is well attended

By Eric Gorton, JMU Media Relations


Keynote speaker Dr. Edward Burger gives his presentation at the 2006 SUMS Conference.

About 200 students from universities throughout the country participated in the second annual Shenandoah Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics Conference in October.

The conference, held in JMU's Health and Human Services building, featured both oral and poster presentations by students.

Featured speakers were Dr. Edward B. Burger, a professor of mathematics at Williams College in Massachusetts, and Dr. Tim Chartier, an assistant professor at Davidson College in North Carolina. Burger spoke on "Conjugate Coupling: The romantic adventure of the quintessential quadratic," while Chartier spoke on the role of mathematics behind movie special effects.

Dr. Laura Taalman, an associate professor of mathematics at JMU and co-organizer of the conference with Dr. Elizabeth Theta Brown, assistant professor of mathematics, said a key benefit of the conference is showcasing the types of mathematics research that can take place at the undergraduate level. In addition to the undergraduate participants, a number of high-school students also attended.

Next year's conference will again be held in the HHS building, Taalman said. The first conference, in 2005, was held in Burruss Hall and also attracted more than 200 participants.

Student speakers at this years event were:

  • Ronald C. Anderson, Thiel College, "Parameter Influences on Instability of the Keller-Segel Aggregation Model"
  • Robert Carrico, University of Mary Washington, "Estimating the Eigenvalues of a Covariance Matrix"
  • Michael Chmutov, Ohio State University, "A Ribbon Graph Structure on Plane Curves"
  • Julianne Coxe, James Madison University, "PascGalois: Pictures and Patterns"
  • Jason Fox, James Madison University, "The Aeroacoustics Of Turbulent Coanda Jet Flows"
  • Erin Keegan, University of Mary Washington, "The Distribution of the Number of Shared Items Between Three Randomly Ordered Lists of N Numbers"
  • Liza Lawson, Randolph-Macon College, "Real Polynomials, Imaginary Roots, and Enchanting Ellipses"
  • Benjamin Leard, James Madison University, "Population Dynamics of Two Competing Species"
  • Laurence A. Lewis, James Madison University, "The Determination of Relative Concentrations of Hydrogen Isotopes"
  • Victor Oyeyemi, Goshen College, "Non-Destructive Recovery of Voids within a Three Dimensional Domain using Thermal Imaging"
  • Joao Paixao, Virginia Tech, "Length Sets of Numerical Monoids"
  • Joan Pharr, Wake Forest University, "A Game of Biblical Proportions"
  • Alfred Rossi, Ohio State University, "An Algorithm for Producing Arrow Diagram Formulas for the Coefficients of the Conway Polynomial"
  • Robert Schaeffer, Lebanon Valley College, "Computations of Quantum Entanglement"
  • Hakan Seyalioglu, The College of William and Mary, "Tweakable Block Ciphers under Exponential Attacks"
  • James Sharpnack, Ohio State University, "Hamiltonicity of <2,4,t> Cayley Graphs"
  • Mandy Smith, Centre College, "Classifying Hand-written Digits With Persistent Barcodes"
  • Christian Sykes, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, "Interpolation of linear subspaces by P-matrices"
  • Desmond Torkornoo, University of Richmond, "Tuning in: a variation of radio labeling"
  • Heather Umberger, Shenandoah University, "Classification of Ice Crystals through Fractal Analysis"
  • Jeremy Voltz, Ohio State University, "Thistlethwaite's Theorem for Virtual Links"
  • Rachel Whitaker, University of Georgia, "Minimizing Ropelength of Composite Knots and Links"
  • Justin Wiser, Ohio State University, "The Hamiltonicity of Cayley Graphs"

More information about the conference can be found at the SUMS Web site.

Published December 2006 by JMU Media Relations